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Dec 28, 2012 5:30pm PST
's optimistic democrats and republicans can reach a deal to steer clear of the so-called fiscal cliff, but he's got a backup plan if they can't. obama wrapped up a meeting at the white house with congressional leaders. they're trying to find a way to head off automatic tax increases and spending cuts that take effect in the new year which economists warned could trigger a recession. >> we're now at the point where in just four days, every american's tax rates are scheduled to go up by law. every american's paycheck will get considerably smaller. and that would be the wrong thing to do for our economy, it would be bad for middle class families, and it would be bad for businesses that depend on family spending. fortunately, congress can prevent it from happening if they act right now. i just had a good and constructive discussion here at the white house with senate and house leadership about how to prevent this tax hike on the middle class. and i'm optimistic we may still be able to reach an agreement that can pass both houses in time. >> the president obama says if time runs out, he will urge
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